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Publication numberUS2601915 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 1, 1952
Filing dateAug 21, 1950
Priority dateAug 21, 1950
Publication numberUS 2601915 A, US 2601915A, US-A-2601915, US2601915 A, US2601915A
InventorsIra S Eggleston, Charles R Boller
Original AssigneeStandard Conveyor Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Timing mechanism and control for conveyers
US 2601915 A
Images(9)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 1, 1952 l. s. EGGLESTON ETAL 2,601,915

TIMING MECHANISM AND CONTROL FOR CONVEYERS Filed Aug. 21, 1950 9 Sh eet'S-Sheet l INVENTORS |RA S. EGGLESTON CHARLES R. BOLLER BY Z / AiTORNEY l. s. EGGLESTON ET AL 2,601,915

TIMING MECHANISM AND CONTROL FOR CONVEYERS Filed Aug. 21, 1950 July 1, 1952 9 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS IRA S. EGGLESTON CHARLES R. BOLLER BY /i a ATT RN July 1, 1952 l. s. EGGLESTON ET AL 2,601,915

TIMING MECHANISM AND CONTROL FOR CONVEYERS INVENTORS RA S. EGGLESTON CHARLES R. BOLLER AT ORNEY July 1, 1952 l. s. EGGLESTON ET AL 2,601,915

TIMING MECHANISM AND CONTROL FOR CONVEYERS Filed Aug. 21, 1950 9 Sheets-Sheet 4 O k g INVENTORS IRA- s. EGGLESTON CHARLES R. BOLLER A TORNEY y 1952 l. s. EGGLESTON ET AL 2,601,915

TIMING MECHANISM AND CONTROL FOR CONVEYERS Filed Aug. 21, 1950 9 Sheets-Sheet 5 IN VEN TORS IRA S. EGGLESTON CHARLES R. BOLLER BY ME ATT RNEY y 1952 l. s. EGGLESTON ET AL 2,601,915

TIMING MECHANISM AND CONTROL FOR CONVEYERS Filed Aug. 21, 1950 9 Sheets-Sheet 6 FIG I4 INVENTORS IRA S. EGGLESTON CHARLES R. BOLLER y 1952 I. s. EGGLESTON ETAL 2,601,915

TIMING MECHANISM AND CONTROL FOR CONVEYERS Filed Aug. 21, 1950 9 Sheets-Sheet '7 IN VEN TORS IRA S. EGGLESTON CHARLES R. BOLLER /lk Ai ORNEY FIG l5 1. s. EGGLESTON ET AL 2,601,915

TIMING MECHANISM AND CONTROL FOR CONVEYERS July 1, 1952 9 Sheets-Sheet 8 Filed Aug. 21, 1950 INVENTORS IRA S. EGGLESTON CHARLES R. BOLLER A TORNEY y 1952 l. s. EGGLESTON ET AL ,915

TIMING MECHANISM AND CONTROL FOR CONVEYERS Filed Aug. 21, 1950 9 Sheets-Sheet 9 0 fi! I 0 \I mm arm Ige i ,.%2% -ogu cnOUU L-J3 -u? WU) (am A A B g: E Q 5 i 0 cu J cu 1-H" 9 HH-- 2 v 5 0 0 4 M? i 5 a, Q {I mm b a FIG I8 INVENTORS IRA s. EGGLESTON CHARLES R. BOLLER Patented July 1, 1952 TIMING MECHANISM AND CONTROL FIQR CONVEYERS Ira S. E'ggleston, St. Paul, and Charles R. Boller, North St. Paul, Minn, assignors to Standard Conveyor Company, St. Paul, Minn, a corpo-- ration of Minnesota 11' Claims. 1

be delivered automatically by operation of the conveyor and suitable loading and unloading mechanisms. I

It is an object of our invention to provide improved timing mechanism and controls of the class described which are particularly adapted to the operation of conveyors or elevators having a multiplicity of despatching and receiving stations and where it is desired to convey load units fromrany of a number of despatching stations to any selected receiving station-with a minimum of manual labor, rapidlyandwith certainty.

' A particular object is to provide electric controls for conveyor loading and unloading mechanisms which coact with a number of'timing units operating in unison and in timed relation to the conveyor and each carrying a series of switch actuating elements which aremovable by electrically energizable means to-operative position individually, the selection of the particular receiving station to receive 'a load being obtained by the combined operation of a plurality of the timing units and the number and location of the switch actuating elements which are moved to operative position for each selection being under control of a manually operable selector switch arranged to close a plurality of circuits which include the electrically energizable means for rendering selected switch actuating elements operative, a selector switch being provided at each despatching station for each receiving station to be controlled and eachof the several selector switches at a despatching station being adapted to close a difierent combination of circuits including the operating means for different combinations ofthe switch elements carried by the several timing units.

Our invention also includes certain other controls which insure precise synchronization of the load carriers of a conveyor or elevator with the operation of the loading and unloading mechanisms for the several stations and with switch operating timer elements, as more fully described and pointedrout in the following specification and claims.

Application August 21, 1950, Serial No. 180,598

By the presentinvention we reduce the number of parts and circuits required to insure proper timing of the several loading operations with the unloading operations at the selected receiving stationsgfor conveyors or elevatorshaving large numbers of despatching and receiving stations;

The invention. will be best understood by refierence to the accompanying drawings which illustrate, by way of, example and not for the purpose of; limitation, a preferred embodiment of our invention wherein a conveyor or elevator is adapted to receive load units from and deliver such units to; any selected station or floor under control of selector switches located at the several floors, the conveyor being of the type having an endless chain to which is attached at suitable intervalsload carriers adapted to receive load units orboxes from the several leading stations and to be unloaded at various selected floors or stationsby unloading mechanisms.

Referring to the drawings:

Figure 1- is a diagrammatic elevational View showing the conveyor and "the-driving connections with our improved timer;

'2 is a somewhat diagrammatic upper ,end view of the'conveyor and connections, with the timer;

Fig. 3 is a horizontal sectional view through the timer taken approximately on the line 3-3 of-Fig; 1;

Fig. 4 is a vertical sectional View through the imer taken on the-line fl:-- 4 ofiFig. g2 andvwith a number or the duplicate parts omitted for clearness; I

Fig. 5 is afragmentarysectional view through one of the-timer. units taken on the line 5-5 of Fig. 3';

Fig.6 is a top, plan view showing one of the unloadswitches-and the. support therefor;

Fig. 7 is a side'elevational view of one of' the unload switches and showing a portion of the, adjacent timer unit and one of the switch actuating elements inretracted. position;

Fig; Eris an end view of. two of the switch contact plates for the timer unloading switches;

Fig. 9- isa front elevati'onal'view-ofthe switch contact plates;

Fig. 10 is a fragmentary part elevational view and part vertical sectional view showing one of the fixed cams for retractingthe switch actuatingelements of the-timer, togetherwithafraigmentary portion of 'a -timer unit; 7

Fig. 11 is ahorizontal sectional view through the conveyor frame and showing the loading and unloading mechanisms at one of the floors or stations;

Fig. 12 is a side elevational view of the loading mechanism at one of the stations and with portions of the guide walls and certain frame members cut away to show parts otherwise concealed;

Fig. 13 is a part side elevational view and part vertical sectional view showing the unloading mechanism at one of the receiving stations;

Fig. 14 is an elevational view of the loading and unloading mechanism looking in the direction indicated by the line 14-44 of Fig. 11;

Fig. 15 is a somewhat diagrammatic side elevational view showing one of the loading mechanism in conveyor loading position;

Fig. 16 is a similar side elevational view showing one of the unloading mechanisms in extended or conveyor unloading position;

Fig. 17 is a wiring diagram showing, in detail,

the circuits under control of the selector switches of two typical stations, together with the timer loading circuits for a system having six despatching stations; Fig. 18 is a wiring diagram showing a suitable arrangement of timer actuated unload switches together with the unload circuits for two typical stations and automatically operated controls and circuits for the loading mechanism for the same stations, and

Figs. 19 and 20 are detail front and side views respectively of one of the loading time starter switches.

As indicated in Fig. 1, the conveyor has a vertically elongated frame indicated generally by the numeral 28 extending from the basement 2| up through openings in the several floors 22 and 23 of the building, the floor 23 being the top floor on which suitable mechanism for actuating the conveyor and connecting it to the timer are mounted. Any desired number of intermediate floors or stations may be provided with despatching and receiving mechanism under control of a suitable number of timer units. An endless conveyor chain 24 is suspended from a sprocket wheel 25 at the upper end of the frame 20 and this sprocket wheel may be driven by an electric motor 26 through suitable speed reducing gearing in a housing 21 and through sprocket wheels upon which a chain 23 is trained for turning a main shaft 29 upon which the sprocket wheel 25 is fixed. Our improved timer, indicated generally by the numeral 30, may be actuated continuously in timed relation to the conveyor by suitable connections with the shaft 29, the connections including sprocket wheels and a. chain 31 for driving a shaft 32 and a worm 33 fixed on the shaft 32 and arranged to drive a worm wheel 34 fixed on the upper end of a vertical timer shaft 35.

Load carriers indicated generally by the numeral 36, and best shown in Figs. 2, 11, 15 and 16, are mounted at suitable intervals on the conveyor chain 24, eachcarrier being suspended from a pin 31 and having a guide roller 38 adapted to travel between guide channels 39 (Fig. 11) of the elevator frame. The lower end of each load carrier is provided with a guide wheel 40 which travels between guide channels 41 of the elevator frame. In order to retain the load carriers 36 in upright position continuously as they are moved along the path determined by the chain-supporting sprocket 25 and idler sprocket wheel 42 at the lower end of the conveyor, notched disks 43 and 44 are provided near the upper and lower ends respectively of the frame for engagement with the guide wheels 40 during the reversal of the direction of travel of the carriers at the upper and lower ends of the conveyor. The upper notched disk 43 is driven in timed relation and at a peripheral speed equal to that of the chain 24 bysuitable connection with the shaft 29, including sprocket wheels fixed respectively on the shaft 29 and on an axial shaft supporting the disk 43, these sprocket wheels being connected by a chain 45 (Fig. 2). The lower notched disk 44 is similarly driven by connections with a shaft 46 supporting the chain guide sprocket wheel 42 near the lower end of the conveyor frame. Further details of a conveyor similar to that illustrated and described herein are described in Patent No. 1,919,934 to William T. Donaldson, dated July 5, 1933.

Each of the carriers 36 has a pair of horizontally extending arms 41 adapted to support load units, e. g., boxes 48 Which fit between a pair of low side wall members 43 mounted on each carrier 36. Stops 50 project upward from the back of each carrier for engagement with one end wall of the box 48 and fingers 5| project upward from the front ends of the carrier arms 4'! to confine the boxes against accidental displacement to the front side of the conveyor. Each carrier is also provided with a roller 52 which projects from the front end of one of the arms 41 for actuating one of the electric control switches provided for each loading station, as hereinafter described. In operation, the conveyor chain 24 may be continuously driven to movea succession of the load carriers 36 upwardly adjacent to a series of despatching or loading stations, indicated generally by the numeral 53, and downwardly adjacent to a series of receiving or unloading stations indicated generally by the numeral 54.

Details of the loading mechanism at each of the despatching or loading stations 53 are best shown in Figs. 11, 12 and 14, this mechanism being duplicated at the several despatching stations. Each loading mechanism comprises a carriage 55 having anti-friction rollers 56 supporting it on rails 51 and movable to carry the boxes 48 into the path of the ascending carriers 35. The carriage 55 is biased toward loading position by weight actuated mechanism including a pair of weights 53 suspended from cables 59, each connected to the carriage 55, the cables being trained over rollers 66. Movement of the carriage to and from extended or loading position is controlled through suitable connections with a cam Bl which is continuously operated in timed relation to the conveyor chain 24 by means of a large sprocket wheel 62 engaging one of the reaches of the chain 24 and operating a shaft 63 which is connected by beveled gears 64 to a shaft 55 upon which th cam (His fixed. The periphery of the cam 64 engages a roller carried by a lever 66 and the free end ofthis lever is provided with a pulley 67 upon which is trained a cable 68. One end of this cable is anchored on the supporting frame of the loading station and the other end is connected to a bracket 69 depending from the carriage 55.

Electrically energizable means comprising a solenoid 10 arranged to operate a latch lever H are provided to releasably hold the carriage 55 in retracted position. Latch lever H is pivoted at 12 on a suitable fixed bracket and is engageable with a bracket 13 depending from the carriage 55. A pair of elevated arms '14 are provided on the carriage 55 to support the load units or boxes 48. These arms extend horizontally and their outer end portions are retracted beneath a loading platform I5 when the carriage is in its retracted position. Sheet metal sidewalls I6 are adapted to guide the boxes 48 to loading position on the arms 14.

Among the electric controls for the loading mechanism at each desp-atching station is a normally open switch H which is operatively connected to an arm 18 adapted to be actuated to close the switch T! when a box 48 is placed in proper position for loading on the arms 14. Another electric loading control comprises a normally open switch 19 which is adapted to be closed momentarily upon movement of the carriage 55 to conveyor loading position. The switch 19 is provided with an upwardly extending arm to which is spring biased to normally retain the switch open and carries at its upper end a cam 8| which is spring biased toward upwardly extended position. The cam normally projects in the path of a p-endant bracket 82 mounted on the carriage 55. As best shown in Figs. 19 and 20, a pivot pin 88a supports the cam 8! on the arm as and a stop lug 8Ia prevents the turning of the cam during the forward movement of the carriage. By this construction, the switch "it is closed momentarily during the travel of the carriage 55 toward loading position and the cam 81 is retracted downward against the bias of a spring 83 as the carriage 55 is returned to its retracted position, without again closing the switch is. Each loading station is further provided with a pair of fixed side wall members 84 extending along opposite sides of the path of the load carriers 36.

Unloading mechanism for each of the receivin stations is best shown in Figs. 11, 13 and 14. Each of these stations has a roller supported carriage, indicated generally by the numeral 85, movable along suitable rails 86 which are so inclined as to cause the load units to be deposited on the station rollers when the carriage is retracted. A pair of weighted cables 8'! bias the carriage 85 toward an extended position in the path of the load units 48 carried by the conveyor and movement of this carriage to and from extended position is under control of a cam 88 fixed on the shaft 65. As hereinbefore indicated, shaft 65 is operated in timed relation to the conveyor chain 2d. As best shown in Fig. 1 the driving connections for the cam 88 are common to those for cam 6| of the loading mechanism located at the same floor and cam 88 is operatively connected to the carriage 35 by mechanism similar to that hereinbefore described with reference to the loading station. Latch mechanism forreleasably retaining the carriage 85 in retracted position comprises a solenoid actuated latch lever 89 pivotally supported on a pin SI and arranged to be actuated to carriage release position upon the energization of a solenoid 98. The pin 9I is supported on a suitable bracket fixed on the station frame.

To receive and support the boxes 48, individually, the carriage 85 is provided with a pair of elevated arms 82 which are adapted to be extended, as in Fig. 16, and to be retracted, as in Fig. 13, to carry a box from the conveyor to a series of anti-friction wheels 93 of the fixed receiving station. Each of the arms 92 has an upwardly bent forward end 94 adapted to engage the boxes as they are removed from the conveyor. Boxes removed by the carriage 85 from the main conveyor or elevator are delivered by gravity from the wheels 93 toa receiving station conveyor 95 having aseri'es-of rollers 96 adapted'to receive and support a number-of the boxes $8 The conveyor 95 extends above a platform 91 and a supporting frame 92a for the arms 92 is retracted beneaththe platform 9? when the carriage is movedto theretracted position shown in Figs. 11 and 13. Each receiving station is further provided with side wall members 98 adapted to guide the boxes 48 as they are withdrawn from the conveyor and side wall members 99 are disposed in continuation of the members 98 to guide load units or boxes 48 as they are moved along the main conveyor and as they are unloaded to the receiving station. The unloading mechanism hereinbefore describ'ed may be duplicated ateach of the several receiving stations.

As indicated in Figs. 11 and 16, an electric switch I88 is provided with an arm IBM which is located a predetermined distance above the.

unloading station and with the arm Iiiila in the path of the descending carriers 38 approaching the station. This switch isnormallyopen and is closed momentarilywhenthe arm Nita is actuated by a descending carrier. Switch IE0 is includedin an electric circuit which also includes the unloading solenoid 88 of the associated unloading mechanism. Each unloading station may be provided with a similar switch It!) for controlling the energization of the local solenoid 98, to thereby control the exact time of the starting of the unloading carriage 85 toward conveyor unloading position.

Additional switches are arranged to be actuated by ascending carriers upon their approach to the several loading stations for the purpose of distinguishing between approaching loaded and empty carriers and to coordinate the start of each loading operation with the "conveyor operation. Switches IflI and I82, shown in Figs. 14 and 15, are provided for this purpose. The switch IBI is normally open and is provided with an arm Ifi'Ia which is arranged to be actuated to close the switch momentarily when engaged by a roller 52 of a passing carriage 38. The switch I92 is normally closed and is opened when actuated by contact with a box is carried by an ascending load carrier. As hereinafter more fully described, the switches lIlI, I02 and 11 are, in electrical series in a circuit which in eludes the solenoid lb of the associated loading station.

Timer construction Our improved timer, indicated generally by the numeral 30 is enclosed in a substantially cylindrical casing I83 (Figs. 3 and 4). As hereinbefore indicated, the vertical timer shaft 35 is continuously driven during the operation of the conveyor at a speed which is proportional to the speed of the conveyor chain 24. Fixedon the shaft 35 in spaced relation one to another are a plurality of timing devices comprising wheels I84, I05, I06 and ifii, each of which carries a multiplicity of switch "actuating elements comprising pins I88 which are independently movable from an upwardly retracted position to a downwardly extended position. The lower end portion of each pin I88 carries a roller I89 for actuating the switches hereinafter described when the pin and roller are in downwardly extended positions. As shown in detail in Fig. 5, each pin I08 is provided with a spring actuated detent ball I I8 which engages the pin in a recess therein to normally retain the pin in the 'upwardly retracted position shown-in full lines in Fig. 5. The several wheels i I04'I'0I-'are similarly constructed and each carries the same number of pins I08 spaced apart circumferentially of the wheels equal distances.

Mounted adjacent to the peripheries of the wheels Hi l-Ill! are vertical series of levers III adapted to actuate the pins I08 of the several vertical rows and each of the levers II I is adapted to be actuated by electrically energizable means comprising a solenoid I I2. A vertical series of the levers I I I with their actuating solenoids H2 is provided for each loading station and the several series of levers I I I are spaced along the circular path of travel of the pins "18 distances which are approximately proportional to the spacing along the path of the conveyor of the several loading stations. In the particular arrangement shown in Fig. 3, the pin actuating levers II I and their actuating solenoids II2 are mounted in vertical series of four each on fixed vertically extending angle bars and the several series are designated respectively BL, IL, 2L, 3L, 4L and SL, representing suitable control elements for a building having despatching stations for a basement fioor and each of five other floors. In Fig. 4 only one vertical series of the pin actuating levers III and solenoids II2 are shown, this series being designated BL. The other series of pin actuating levers and solenoids have been omitted from Fig. 4 for clearness. For like reasons a large number of duplicate sets of pins I08 and all except one series of the: unload switches presently to be described have been omitted from Fig. 4.

The several timing devices comprising wheels IM-Ifil are rotated in the direction indicated by an arrow in Fig. 3 and spaced circiunferentially of these wheels from the loading solenoids are vertical series of unloading switches II3 II3a, the several series being designated as IU, 2U, 3U, 4U and EU. Each series comprises four unloading switches mounted on a vertically extending angle bar and severally arranged to be actuated by the rollers I69 carried by the wheels IU4IDI. Each of the switches H3 is normally open and has a contact plate H5 fixed on the upper end portion of a switch actuating arm I I4 and each of the switches 3a is normally closed and carries a longer contact plate IIB on the upper end of its actuatingarm. As shown in Figs. 8 and 9, the contact plates H5 are shorter circumferentially of the timer wheels than the plates H6. The fourcontact plates of the same series are aligned vertically below the peripheries of the wheels Hi l-I67 respectively and the vertical center lines of the plates H5 and II6 of the several series IU5U are spaced apart circumferentially of the timer wheels distances which are approximately proportional to the spacing along the conveyor of the several unloading mechanisms at floors I, 2, 3, 4 and 5 from the loading mechanisms at these floors.

In order to retract upwardly all downwardly extended pins IE8 at the end of each cycle of operation of the wheels I t l-I GT, I provide a vertical series of fixed cams III. Each cam II! is supported on a bracket IIB which is rigidly mounted on a vertically extending angle bar H9 in such position as to cause the inclined upper surface of each cam to extend in an are at such an elevation as to be engaged by the lower ends of the pins I08 and to force each extended pin upward to its retracted position.

In operation the several timer wheels Hid-I0! are rotated in unison. Energization of the several solenoids II2 of each vertical series is under control of a group of manually operable selector switches at one of the despatching stations. For example, as hereinafter more fully pointed out, the selector switches at floor I of the building are arranged in circuits to severally energize one or more'of the solenoids of series IL and other groups of selector switches located respectively at the basement fioor, second, third, fourth and fifth floors are provided to control the energization of the solenoids of series BL, 2L, 3L, 4L and 51. respectively. The unloading switches H3 and H311 of each vertical series are included in series in a circuit which also includes the unloading switch I09 and solenoid 9B of an associated receiving station.

Selector switches and circuits Two groups of manually operable selector switches are shown in the wiring diagram, Fig. 17. Each group is adapted to control the delivery of load units to six receiving stations located at the several floors of the building and the several switches of each group are indicated respectively by the reference characters B, I, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Current is supplied to the several branch circuits from supply lines 6 and 6a. The selector switches are preferably push button switches which are normally in the positions indicated in Fig. 17 wherein a number of branch circuits extending from the current supply line 6 and including branch circuit conductors I, 8, 9 and it) are open. Each of these switches is preferably of the type which, when closed, maintains contact until released by the closing of another switch of the same group. For example, switch B when moved from its normal open position shown to a closed position causes the closing of a circuit from a branch of the line 6 to each of branch conductors II and I2 and the switch is locked in this closed position until one of the other switches of the same group is closed, whereupon switch B is released to open position. Each of the other switches I5 operate in a similar manner to control different combinations of branch circuits, including selected combinations of the conductors II 0.

The time of closing of the branch circuits for each despatching station including the conductors I, 8, 9 and I8 is under control of a switch I9 and a four-pole relay for the same station, this relay having a coil I 3 and armature actuated sprin contacts I4 adapted to simultaneously close one side of the several circuits including the solenoids II2 of the same series. The closing of the other side of the circuit for the solenoids II2 of a series is also under control of the switch I9 for thesame series and a four-pole relay having a coil I5 and armature actuated spring contacts I8. Each circuit under control of a switch I9 also includes a conductor I'I extending to the supply line 6a, branches IIa. and I'll; extending to terminals of the relay coils I3 and I5 respectively, and a conductor I8 connected to line 6 and having branches I8a and I8?) extending to terminals of the relay coils I3 and I5 respectively. It will be evident from Fig. 17 that only two of the groups of manually operable switches are shown with the complete circuits under control thereof, the particular groups illustrated being those for the first and fifth floor despatching stations. The selector switches and circuits for the other despatching stations are similar to those shown in detail. The several series of solenoids H2 designated respectively BL, I L, 2L, 3L, 4L and 5L are thus under control of the several switches 19 and four-pole relays the coils of which are energized when a switch is is closed.

Each of the selector switches B, l, 2, 3, 4 and is operative through a different combination of branch circuits including selected conductors l, 8, 9 and it to energize different combinations of the solenoids H2 of the series associated with the particular despatching station. For example, as indicated in Fig. 1'7, upon the closing of push button switch 1 at any despatching station current is supplied from line 6 to conductors l2 and l, as one branch circuit, and to conductor [9, back contact of switch 5 and movable element of switch 5 which is continuously connected to conductor 9, as a second branch circuit. Thus when switch I, associated with floor 5 is actuated to closed position and the loading carriage at floor 5 closes switch 19, as hereinbefore described, relays l3 and I5 associated with series 5L of solenoids H2 are energized, with the result that solenoids i [2 in circuit with conductors l and 9 respectively are energized. These are the lowermost and second from top solenoids of series 5L. In a similar manner, upon the closing of selector switch 2 associated with the loading mechanism of floor I, followed by the closing of switch 79 for the same floor, current is supplied through conductors l and ID to energize the top and bottom solenoids H2 of series IL. With the other branch circuits arranged as shown in Fig. 17, upon the closing of switches 3 and 79 of any despatching station, the top and third from top solenoids H2 of the series associated with the local despatching station will be energized. To send a load unit to floor 4, switches 4 and 19 of any floor may be closed thereby causingthe energization of the third and fourth from the top solenoids H2 of the series associated with the despatching floors. Upon the closing of switch 5 followed by the closing of switch 19 of the same floor the second and third from top solenoids H2 of the appropriate series will be energized.

Unloading circuits Referring particularly to Fig. 18, which shows in detail a suitable arrangement of unloading switches operated-by the timer, the several series of unloading switches are indicated in vertical columns designated IU, 2U, 3U, {5U and EU respectively. It will be noted that unloading switches H3 of each series are normally open and that each of the switches H311 is normally closed. Each of the normally closed switches ll3a is provided with one of the longer contact plates H6 and each of the normally open switches H3 is provided with one of the shorter contact plates H5. The several series of unloading switches are included in parallel circuits having a common current supplyconductor 6b extending to line 6 and each circuit includes a conductor will) extending to one terminal of the unloading switch H for the associated unloading mechanism and suitable circuit connections whereby the unloading solenoid 99 for the selected receiving station may be energized upon the closing of the switch I68 thereof during the period when the same circuit is closed at the switches H3 and 3c, this circuit including a branch 6d of current supply line 8a. v

Complete unloading circuits for the first and fifth floor stations are shown in Fig. 18 and it will be understood that these circuits are duplicated for the unloading mechanisms of the second, third and fourth floors. The unloading 10 mechanism for another floor, e. g. the basement, may be of the fiXed-rake-oif'type and where such mechanism is provided it is unnecessary to proide an electrically controlled unloading mechanism at the receiving station.

Automatic loading controls and circuits As further shown in Fig. 18, each loadin solenoid is is in series with the switches 11, NH and I82. When a load unit or box 48 .is placed in proper position on the loading carriage 55 of the station, the switch 11 is closed. Thereafter, the switch ill! associated with the same loading station is closed by an approaching empty load carrier totherebyenergize the latch operating solenoid Hi, the switch I02 being normally closed but being opened upon the approach of a loaded carrier. Suitable loading circuits for the first and fifth floor stations are illustrated and it willbe understood that these circuits are duplicated for each of the loading mechanisms at the second, third and fourth floors and other despatching stations.

Operation With the conveyor and timer in operation the carriages 36 are in continuous motion along a path determined by the chain2 l and theitimer wheels Hi l-'41]? are in continuous relatively slow and synchronized rotary motion. Load units :or'boxes 48 maybe 'desp'at'ched from any floor or despatching station and sent to any re ceiving or unloading station under control of the selector switches at the ,despatching stations. An operator desiring to'sendl'a box 48 from the first floor to the fifth floor, .for example, merely closes switch 5 at the first floor and thenplaces the box in the loading position between the walls 16 where it rests'on the arms 74 and depresses switch arm 18 thereby closing thenormally-ope'n switch Tl. The first empty ascending carriage 36 thatreaches the switch Illl will close this normally open switch and thereby'complete the circuit including the loading solenoid 10 of the local station. If, however, the ascending carrier 36 has been previously loaded from a lower floor, the box 58 on the carrier will engage the switch arm WM and open the normally closed switch me before the wheel on this particular carrier 38 makes contact with the arm of switch ml. Since the switches Nil, 12 and H are in series, the opening of switch 192 will prevent the solenoid 16 from being energized and the loading carriage will not be released to position for loading the box; when the approaching carrier 36 has previously been'loaded- Upon the closing of the circuit including the latch operating solenoid-l0 of the local station, the loaded carriage 55 is actuated by the weights 58, under control of the cam thtoward loading position. 7 At this time, it is necessary to actuate a selected combination of timer pins I08 which determine the destination of. the particular-load.

unit. If the load unit; 'on carriage 55 is to be sent to the fifth floor from the first floor, as in the example mentioned, the closing of :the se lector switch 5 at the first floor 'will cause, upon the closing of switch 19, the 'energization of the second and third solenoids H2 I of series IL through the circuits including the conductors 8 and 9. g This occurs at the instant switch lfl is closed by engagement'of the moving carriage member 82 with the cam 8| of switch 19. The circuits thus closed momentarily includetherelay [3 of the local loading station and-the relay 15 which closes the four branch circuits, including the selected series of solenoids H2. These relays prevent feed back and resultant uncertainties of operation due to the fact that each selector switch remains closed until such time as another switch of the same group is actuated to closed position. Upon energization of the selected solenoids I [2, the solenoid operated levers III force down the selected pins 108 to their switch operating positions.

After closing the switch 19 the loaded carriage 55 continues to its extended position indicated in Fig. 15 and immediately thereafter the ascending empty carrier 36 picks up the box 48 and conveys it to its selected destination. Since the cam 61 is continuously rotating in timed relation to the conveyor chain 24, this cam causesthe carriage 55 to be returned to its normally retracted position upon removal of the load unit or box 48 by the ascending carriage 38. During the period of time required to carry the box 48 from the despatching station to the selected receiving station, timer wheels l04l 01 will have rotated through an are such as to bring the downwardly extended pins [08 of the selected series to a position where they contact the plates H5 of a plurality of the switches H3. As will be evident from Fig. 18, in order to actuate the unloading mechanism for the fifth floor, it is necessary to close the second and third switches H3 of series 5U while retaining the normally closed switches 3a of the same series closed. In the example assumed, the normally open switches H3 are closed simultaneously by the downwardly extended pins [08 carried by timer wheels I05 and I06. These unloading switches are closed just before the loaded carriage reaches the unloading switch 100 of the selected unloading station and the switches H3 are held closed for a sufiicient period of time for the switch I to be closed at the precise moment when the cam 88 of the unloading station is in position to allow the carriage 85 to move to extended loading position. Upon the closing of the switch 10, the solenoid 90 is energized and operates the latch 89 to release the carriage 85. Thereupon, the carriage moves in and the box 48 is deposited on the arms 92 of the selected unloading station. The carriage 85 is then retracted by operation of the cam 88, to thereby deliver the box to the receiving conveyor 96.

By providing one or more normally closed switches l l3a in each series of unloading switches, we insure against errors in the selection of the several unloading stations where particular load units are to be delivered. For example, with the open and closed switch arrangement of series U, in the event that pins I08, other than those carried by wheels I05 and I06 and in a common vertical row, are in the downwardly projecting position one or more of the normally closed switches I |3a will be opened as the wheels carry the pins to position where their rollers I09 engage the switch plates H5 and H6 of series 5U. The contact plates H6 of the switches H3a being longer than the plates H5 of the switches H3 will cause the circuit to beheld open during the period of closing of the switches H3 of the same series, thereby preventing the erroneous closing of the loading circuit for floor five. The arrangement of the normally open switches H3 and normally closed switches l 13a in each series differs from the arrangement in all other series lU-5U.

' .In order to automatically close the normally open switches H3 of each series at the proper time, various combinations of the pins I08 carried by the several wheels 14-401 are pro jected downward by operation of the solenoids H2 of the several series BL, IL5L and the selection of the particular combinations of pins "18 to be rendered operative is under control of the selector switches, each of which is operative through branch circuits to energize a different combination of the solenoids H2 of each series.

By providing four timing devices comprising the wheels |04Hl1 and associated loading solenoids and unloading switches, we make it possible to select any one of a number up to fifteen receiving stations from any of sixteen despatching stations, with one receiving station provided with fixed unloading mechanism or a load rakeoif device so that the load units are not recirculated by the conveyor.

In some installations it is important to prevent the simultaneous loading of a plurality of the carriers 36 at two or more stations. This may occur, in the absence of the switches 19 and the several relays I3 controlled thereby, where the distance between certain floors or despatching stations is equal to an integral multiple of the spacing of the load carriers 36 along the conveyor. Errors in selection of the receiving stations would occur. in the absence of the switches 19 and relays, if a conveyor load carrier should close switch It]! at one floor at the same time that another carrier closes switch 10! at another floor. In order to avoid this and also to avoid variations in the synchronization of the several loading station cams Bl, the several switches 19 may be variously positioned in relation to the path of travel of the loading carriages 55 so that no two of these switches, which control the timing of the energization of the solenoids H2, will be closed at the same instant by the loading mechanisms. V

For the particular installation illustrated, by way of example, in the drawings there are six stations to which load units may be selectively delivered from any of six despatching stations. For such an installation nineteen of the load carriers 36 may be spaced equally one from another along the chain 24 at intervals of 121 inches longitudinally of the chain and each of the timer wheels l04-l01 may be provided with thirty-one switch actuating pins I08 equally spaced so that each pin travels .2464734 inch or approximately one-quarter inch circumferentially of the wheel carrying it for each one foot of travel of the conveyor chain 24. Thus each of the wheels Hid-I01 may turn %1 of a revolution for each complete cycle of movement of the chain 24. With such synchronization, the several pin actuating members I H and switch contact plates H5 and H6 may be so located as to insure the desired positioning of all pins I08 in relation to the loading time control switches 79 and unloading switches H3, 30:.

The present invention is not limited to any specific number of timing wheels, load carriers or despatching and receiving stations and the controls and timer may be readily adapted for operation with a considerably larger or smaller number of despatching and receiving stations.

Having described our invention, what we claim as new and desire to protect by Letters Patent is:

1. For a power actuated conveyor movable along a determined path and having a plurality of despatching stations and a plurality of receiving stations spaced along said path and provided respectively with mechanism for loading units on and unloading them from said conveyor, an improved control and timer for the several loading and unloading mechanisms comprising a plurality of timing devices operated in unison and in timed relation to said conveyor and each carrying a series of switch elements which are movable individually to and from operative position; a series of actuating members forthe switch elements of each series equal in number to the number of despatching stations and spaced along the path of travel of said switch elements distances which are approximately proportional to the spacing of the several despatching stations along said conveyor, electrically energizable measisiiorseverally operating said actuating memhers. a group of manually operable :selector switches :associated with each of said-'despatching stations forselecting the receiving station to which any load unit is to be delivered, a plurality :of' branch circuits under control of each of certainof the individual selector switches of each group, said branch circuits severally including the electrically energizable means for actuating switch elements carried by a plurality of said timing devices and the several selector switches of each group being operative through different combinations of said branch circuits to cause the movement of different combinations of said switch elements to operative positions, a series of unloading switches for each of said receiving stations having actuating members mounted in positions to be moved by such of said elements as are in operative positions, the actuating members for the several unloading switches being spaced along the paths of said switch elements distances which are approximately proportional to the spacing along the conveyor of the several receiving stations from the several despatching stations, circuits severally under control of the several series of unloading switches for the respective receiving stations, and electrically energizable means included in each of said last mentioned circuits for causing the unloading of the conveyor at selected receiving stations.

2. An improved control and timer as defined in claim 1 wherein each of the despatching stations is provided with a time starting switch adapted to cause the closing of the circuits under control of the local manually operable selector switches upon movement of the loading mechanism of the local despatching station to loading position.

3. An improved control and timer as defined in claim 1 wherein each of the despatching stations is provided with a time starting switch adapted to cause the closing of the circuits under control or" the local manually operable selector switches upon movement oi the loading mechanism of the local despatching station to loading position, and wherein the several time starting switches are variously located in relation to the path or" movement of the several loading mechanisms whereby to guard against the simultaneous closing of said circuits for two or more of the despatching stations.

4. An improved control and timer as defined in claim 1 wherein a multiple pole relay is provided for closing the several branch circuits under control of each group of manually operable selector switches and a time starting switch is included in a circuit for energizing said relay, said time starting switch being actuated to close said last mentioned circuit upon movement or" the loading mechanism of'the local despatching station to loading :position. v

5. An improved control and timeras defined in-claim 1 wherein, each of said circuits severally under control of the several series of unloading switches includes a normally open switch adapted torbe' closed by operation of a. member located along the'path of the conveyor and actuated to closed position upon the approach of a load to the local receiving station whereby to fix the ex-- act timing of the unloading operation.

'6. An improved control and timer as. defined in claim 1 in which said series of unloading switches for each of ithe receivingstations comprises a numbertofswltches equal in number to the numbe'r of timing devices, tsaid actuating meansior the unloading switches being, adapted to :causeall of the switchesof the same series to he closed by operation of selected combinations of said switch elements 'c'arriedby the several timing devices.

'Z. improved'control and timer as defined in :claim 1 :in which each of said series .of unloadin switches includes at least one switch which is :normally closed and adapted, to be opened when actuated by a switch element carried by one of said timing devices and at least one switch which is normally open and adapted to be closed when actuated by a switch element carried by another of said timing devices.

8. An improved control and timer as defined in claim 1 in which each of said series of unloading switches includes at least one switch which is normally closed and adapted to be opened when actuated by a switch element carried by one of said timing devices and at least one switch which is normally open and adapted to be closed by a switch element carried by another of said timing devices, and means for causing the normally closed switches of the several series to dwell in open position during the closing of a normally open switch of the same series when such normally open and normally closed switches are substantially simultaneously actuated by switch elements in operative position carried by selected timing devices.

9. For a power actuated conveyor having a multiplicity of spaced load carriers movable along a determined path and a plurality of despatching stations and a plurality of receiving stations spaced along said path and provided respectively with mechanism for loading units on and unloading them from said load carriers, an improved timer and controls for the several loading and unloading mechanisms comprising a plurality of spaced parallel timing wheels adapted to be rotated in unison and in timed relation to said conveyor and each carrying a series of switch elements which are movable individually to and from operative position, a series of actuating members for the switch elements of each series equal in number to the number of despatching stations and spaced along the path of travel of the switch elements distances which are approximately proportional to the spacing of the several despatching stations along said conveyor, electrically energizable means for severally operating said actuating members to move selected switch elements to operative positions, a group of manually operable selector switches associated with each of said despatching stations for selecting the receiving stations to which load units are to be delivered, branch circuits under control of certain of the individual selector switches of each group, said branch circuits severally including the electrically energizable means for actuating switch elements carried by a plurality of said timing wheels and the several selector switches of each group being operative through different combinations of branch circuits to cause the movement of different combinations of said i switch elements to operative positions, a series of unloading switches for each of said receiving stations severally provided with actuating members disposed in the paths of the switch elements when the latter are in operative positions, the actuating members for said unloading switches being spaced along said paths distances which are approximately proportional to the spacing along the conveyor of the several receiving stations from the several despatching stations, a circuit under control of the unloading switches of each series and electrically energizable means severally included in each of said last mentioned circuits for causing the unloading of the conveyor carriers at the selected receiving stations.

10. An improved timer and controls as defined in claim 9 in which each of said despatching stations is provided with a loading control circuit including electrically energizable means for causing the loading mechanism at said station to be actuated to carrier loading position, a normally open switch adapted to be closed by the lacing of a load unit in loading position, and a second normally open switch adapted to be closed by an approaching empty carrier of the conveyor.

11. An improved control and timer as defined in claim 9 wherein each of the despatching stations is provided with a time starting switch adapted to cause the closing of the circuits under control of the local manually operable selector switches upon movement of the loading mechanism of the local despatching station to loading position and each despatching station is further provided with a loading control circuit including electrically energizable means for causing the loading mechanism at said station to be actuated to carrier loading position, a normally open switch adapted to be closed by the placing of a load unit in loading position, and a second normally open switch adapted to be closed by an approaching empty carrier of the conveyor.

IRA S. EGGLESTON. CHARLES R. ROLLER.

No references cited.

Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1 *None
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4299326 *Nov 5, 1979Nov 10, 1981Fmc CorporationWeight sorting memory circuit
Classifications
U.S. Classification198/349.3, 198/370.1, 198/793
International ClassificationB65G47/50
Cooperative ClassificationB65G47/503
European ClassificationB65G47/50A